Pope Francis ‘told divorced and remarried woman there is nothing wrong with her taking Communion’, Italian newspaper says

Guidance from Pontiff would be major departure from current Catholic teaching

Pope Francis reportedly told a divorced and remarried woman that there is “nothing wrong” with her taking Communion, in what would be a huge departure from current Catholic teaching.

According to reports in an Italian newspaper, a man described how his wife received a personal phone call from the Pope in which he said that she should be allowed to take Communion and that it was an issue currently under discussion at the Vatican.

The woman, named Jacquelina Sabetta and identified as being from the Pope’s own home country of Argentina, claimed to have written to the head of her church six months ago about concerns she would be “violating church rules” about taking the Sacrament.

She said that Pope Francis then phoned her personally – as he has been known to do with other members of the church in the past – on Easter Sunday, and said he had been “moved” by her situation.

Identifying himself by his given name as Father Bergoglio, he reportedly said: “It is an issue we are discussing in the Vatican, because a divorcee who takes communion is not doing anything wrong.”

If the phone call, reported by the Italian daily La Stampa, is genuine, it represents a major development for Catholicism and would cement Pope Francis’s reputation as a reformer of the church.

Traditional teaching currently maintain that unless a marriage is officially annulled, Catholics who remarry cannot receive Communion because they are effectively committing adultery.

Ms Sabetta reportedly described in her letter to the Pope how she had been divorced and remarried in a civil ceremony.

Speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesperson for the Vatican said today that he would “neither confirm nor deny” what the Pope had apparently said about divorcees, adding: “This was a private telephone call made by the Holy Father and we would not divulge the details.”

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